Being a teenager and a music fan in the 70’s was like winning the lottery. The amount of good music out there to listen to and buy was an embarrassment of riches. Of course rock & roll was the most popular genre, but disco was there too. If you felt like some country music, Glenn Campell and John Denver were making hits. Soul music? The Ohio Players had you covered. James Taylor and Carly Simon had the singer songwriter genre ready for you. There was more too. Music was lurking just off the main stream waiting to be discovered. Stuff that appeared on your FM radio dial on those low numbers few people you knew ever listened to. They were often college radio stations or small town stations with weak signals, and you could find the Sex Pistols, Ramones and Iggy Pop there making a ruckus on the radio.

Despite all of that variety and the wide assortment of musicians and bands people considered their favorites, there were albums that most everyone had. It didn’t matter if you liked disco the most, or country music. You had these albums. They were the special records that transcended all others. For whatever reason, they struck a chord with us, pardon the pun, and we simply had to have them.

Meatloaf Bat Out of Hell: It’s a great album with a sound and style never done before by anyone, and never done since. Pretty much every teenage boy had this album. With a hit like Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, how could they not? It was the ultimate song written, it seemed, for teenage boys.

Peter Frampton Frampton Comes Alive: If Bat Out of Hell was “for the boys”, Frampton Comes Alive was “for the girls”. Yes, boys liked it too, and many of them had this record, but every girl had it. The music was good, and Frampton was a teen idol who made the girls swoon.

Fleetwood Mac Rumours: We all had this one. It came out in 1977 and it had so many hit songs on it that it was still charting in 1979. There are 11 songs on this album, and we all knew every one of them. 45 years later and most of us still know them all. It was that big.

Boston Boston : The debut album by Boston from 1976 was very popular right out of the gate and spawned 3 hits that I can recall. But the entire album was great. They had a unique sound that many people felt was upbeat and happy. This record grew in the years that followed not only in sales but in stature as well. Today it’s considered by many rock fans to be among the greatest debut albums of all time. I think it’s a little better than that, which I’ll be writing about shortly.

Led Zeppelin IV : What’s funny about this album is that while Led Zeppelin had tons of fans, plenty of people weren’t fans of the band. But they were fans of Stairway to Heaven which wins my award for most overplayed songs of my lifetime, and that song was on this album along with classics everyone loved such as Black Dog and Rock & Roll. Together, these 3 songs ensured that most everyone had Led Zeppelin iV, even if they didn’t listen to anything else by the band,

Categorized in: